‘Dive in…crawl out…’
Last week, I was invited to the brand new Dive NQ in Manchester to sample some of the delicious food and drink on offer. I love discovering new places to eat in town, so of course I went along for a nosey! Located on Tib St in the Northern Quarter (next to Afflecks) it’s easy to find and in an ideal spot, with Picadilly and Victoria train stations both within walking distance.
I arrived at Dive NQ around 6.45pm and waited in the bar for 3 fellow bloggers. I’ll be honest, this is a new step for me. I have been following these girls via their blogs and social media pages for while but we had never met up ‘in real life’ before. An introvert’s nightmare but in the spirit of new things, I forced myself to be brave. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Steffany, Lorna and Sophie greeted me with a smile and we were shown to our table by a friendly member of staff.
The décor was modern yet rustic with lots of reclaimed wood and bronze features – the light fittings and leather effect booths were particularly striking. There were several screens around the venue showing a big football match that night. Due to this, I expected it to be solely filled with sports fanatics however the range of clientèle was broad. From large groups of friends enjoying food to colleagues grabbing a quick beer after work, it was a genuinely nice, relaxing atmosphere.
Dive NQ has only been open for around 3 months but is clearly proving popular as even on a cold February week night, it was almost full! They are open until 5am on weekends with a large dance floor, various DJs and entertainment on offer then open again from 12pm everyday, if you fancy somewhere to nurse your inevitable hangover with some light bites.
Here, I discovered what their concept of a Dive bar is. It’s most certainly not the somewhat down and dingy beer hole as I had half anticipated, far from that in fact! The vision here is to provide the food in smaller portions – similar to tapas style dining – so that customers can order a variety of different dishes to share between the table. A true casual dining experience. If you relate to Joey from Friends and sharing food is not your bag, then you do have the option to order a larger solo portion instead.
After deliberating over the extensive American ‘street food’ style menu for a good 15 minutes or so, we still couldn’t choose so asked the lovely Allen, who was looking after our table, to surprise us with a selection of food. We were not disappointed! As dish after dish landed in front of us, the smell was incredible. From chicken tacos, pulled pork sliders, shredded chicken nachos, sweet potatoes wedges, cheese steak subs, garlic mushrooms and more, we ended up with an array of choice.
I personally found this to be a great idea as I ended up trying – and thoroughly enjoying – foods that I possibly would have never ordered myself. Pulled pork sliders in particular will always be a winner for me and these ones definitely exceeded other offerings I’ve had in the past.
The American-inspired cocktails also caught my attention. Sadly I was driving so opted out of these but I had my eye on the ‘Mad Hatten Iced Tea’ containing an impressive nine spirits and the ‘Parma Violence’, made with gin, violet liqueur, egg white, grenadine and fresh lemon. Given that us girls ended up unintentionally staying at Dive NQ past 10pm, I can see this hidden gem becoming our new favourite place to make some drunken memories together in the future!
*My food and drinks were provided FOC however all opinions are my own.